When Suicide Hits Wealthy Businessmen and Women

This is the type of transparency that doesn’t save a few lives, it saves many.  Last wk we shared the story of @levine_scott_cpa , CFO of the Florida Panthers. It was a big deal bc Scott was the first C-Level exec in the sports biz industry to share his full story about his own MH battles, so widely.

While the Everyday Hero stories have been a great vehicles to normalize the convo…in the sports biz specifically – our early story shares have come from Directors & below. Nothing wrong w that, but the reality is that we still don’t have leaders in C-suite positions in that industry (or most any for that matter) sharing vulnerably yet.  Scott began the process. But to tear this wall down, we need more leaders like Scott.

Then, 2 days ago, thanks to sports industry vet @joefavknicks I saw this article on Ted Leonsis (owner of the Wizards, Capitals, Mystics, etc.) & the loss of his 3 close friends to suicide. He taps very much into how the Covid pandemic has impacted MH for ALL of us. Here are some of his important quotes from the story:

“No one ever asks me: ‘How are you doing? How are you doing through all this?’ ”…”I’ve had my ups and downs, because this is an uncontrollable time in history.”…“There are issues we sweep under the table, and we’ll look back at this and say, ‘Why did we do that?’”…”I don’t think there’s ever been a time when, everyone has been just waiting for the next shoe to drop in life, in business.”…”I try to communicate that with honesty (to his players). If you trust us, you trust me enough, to say, ‘Yes, I’m having an issue,’ my estimation of you increases. Just as they get measured in vertical jump or body fat, they should be measured in how they’re doing. And if they have a mental health issue, we should be there to help. There are tools that can help.”

That’s leadership through vulnerability from the top. Not surprised as his org was amongst the first sports franchises to ask us for MH programming/discussions for their employees even before Covid hit. We need more leaders to step up like this. Transparency & vulnerability is what leadership needs to be built off.

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